Elections: We’ll always maintain our neutrality — APCON

The apex regulatory body in the nation’s advertising industry,  the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), has refuted claims in some quarters that its clamp down on some campaign billboards and posters of some political parties were targeted at opposition parties to favour the ruling party.

The Council’s  Acting Registrar, Mrs. Ijedi Iyoha, while reacting  to a recent report aired on the African Independent Television (AIT) Network, vehemently denied the insinuation of partisanship in the conduct of its enforcements.

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Iyoha, in a statement, made available to Brands & Marketing, explained that the  billboards and posters in question were blanked out by the Council for failure to meet the pre-exposure vetting requirements of the Council, and not because they belonged to the opposition parties.

She stressed that the boards on which enforcements were carried out cut across parties.

The APCON boss stated that political parties and their candidates were required by the Council to forward their advertisements for pre-exposure vetting, adding that such step had become imperative  to promote sanity and peace of the democratic process.

She added that ahead of the campaigns, the Council had held series of stakeholder enlightenment on political advertising and sent out notices to parties believing that they would comply with the law.

Interestingly, the APCON boss had, in an earlier interview with Brands & Marketing expressed the determination of the Council to ensure a thorough and proper regulation of political materials, with the aim of ensuring a hate-free and decent campaigns among politicians, jostling for various elective offices in the country.

“One of the ways we intend to do that is by ensuring that all political materials pass through the vetting procedure of the Council, before exposure, while those who fail to comply with this would be sanctioned,” Iyoha had said.

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